In the past few weeks we have been busy crutching all our sheep. It's a bit of a task since we've probably got about 2000 of them. Today we finished the last mob, that happened to be a mob of wethers.
I was lucky today that I was able to con my mate Josh into helping me.. and so here are a few pics of him crutching. First thing to do is wig them. That's to take the wool off around the forehead and side of the face so the sheep are able to see properly again. Some sheep have so much wool around their eyes that they become wool blind, and cant see a thing.
The next step didn't get a good picture of, so I skipped it.. that was to pizzle them. That's removing the wool from around the pizzle (which is, of course, the boys private bit - which is in the centre of their belly). Believe me having this area clean would be much.. much more comfortable for the wethers. The pic above is the next step. Just a blow around in between, and down the legs.
Then roll the sheep over on it's side and shear the wool off from around the tail and down the back of the legs, any it's all done. Takes about 20 - 30 seconds to do each sheep from go to woah.
...and here is the finished product. Nice and clean, and far less attractive to nasty blowflies that can lay their maggots in dirty wool around the rear end (and pizzle) which will, if unchecked, slowly kill the sheep. Hence the reason we crutch them. There are a few little nicks on the back of their legs.. ya get a few of these sometimes when using sharp shearing equipment.
It was good to have my mate helping me out for the morning, and so I helped him out this afternoon. His Steiger tractor had an electrical fault that actually caused it to not go into gear... and hence not move at all. With the help of the mechanic we found that the problem was a couple of burnt out diodes, which we replaced and it was all systems go again.